Codification Over Condolences

Gun violence continues to be an issue in America. We need reform.

Colorado has fallen victim to many mass shootings in the last two decades. Columbine, Club Q, the Aurora movie theater, the King Soopers in Boulder, and that’s just to name a few. 

I get it. The thought of your “right to bear arms” being taken away from you is scary. A lingering feeling that this “right” in which you depend so heavily on may crumble before your eyes at any moment.

But let me ask you this: is that thought scarier than hiding under a desk, frantically texting your loved ones goodbye in case you don’t make it out of your school alive? Is that thought scarier than receiving that text from a loved one who you may never see again due to this violence? 

One of the reasons that I am excited to graduate in a month should not be the lesser chance of me being shot in cold blood in my place of education. That’s ridiculous. And the truth is, that chance will only lessen in that specific environment. It could happen at the movies. It could happen at the grocery store. It could happen anywhere. Literally anywhere. It’s terrifying. 

It’s no secret why our government refuses to pass anti-gun legislation or at least create stricter gun legislation in general. There’s big money in guns; and I’ve talked about this before.

The National Rifle Association, “one of the most powerful special interest lobby groups in the US” according to BBC, is constantly benefiting Republican political campaigns through financial support.

This means that a large number of our political leaders profit off the blood of victims. 

Some of the most notable of these political leaders, according to Brady United, include Mitch McConnell, Mitt Romney, Ted Cruz, and Lindsay Graham. In total, the previously mentioned senators have benefitted from $15,173,885 of NRA political spending throughout the entirety of their political careers. That’s only a small example. 

These people were voted in by our republic. These people were voted in to create legislation that should benefit us, not fill their pockets. 

Guns are not a freedom that you have. Guns have taken away our freedom. Our freedom to go to the movies and not take close note of where the exits are. Our freedom to close our eyes and feel safe in a place of worship. Our freedom to enjoy time at a club or at a concert without mistaking blown-out speakers for gunshots. Our freedom to go to school and not have to think about how fast our teacher can lock and barricade the door. 

Voting leaders into power who understand that people are worth more than profit is the only way that systemic change can happen. Thoughts and prayers are not enough.